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Rosand has long been a master of the French violin repertoire. Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) was a short lived genius. His Poème Op 25 is the essence of Cesar Franck inspired, quasi-Wagnerian Romanticism with a distinctly Gallic touch. Rosand's glorious lava-dipped tone and gorgeous musical line were the sine qua non of idiomatic French style! His passionately felt, burning intensity set Chausson's music ablaze. Rosand's ability to sustain an elongated, curving trill with marvelous beauty is the mark of an artist who is beyond mere technique. Koenig's intense pianism was all blazing ardor.

Rosand has long been the master of the musical vignette. From the rich toned, commanding opening recitative to the Gypsy fiddle bravura of the finale, Pablo de Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen ('Gypsy Airs'), Op 20 burned with Magyar fire. Rosand added a few additional pyrotechnical flourishes to add to the Spanish-Slavic brew -- super fireworks indeed! Fritz Kreisler's version of the second movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2, Preghiera, was a Viennesse take on Russian melancholia -- played with schmaltzy warmth and sweetly glowing tone. Rosand's charming, sentimental rendition of Tchaikovsky's salon favorite Valse Sentimental (arranged by Jacques Press) was a joy to hear. There was Slavic vigor in Moussorgsky's Hopak (a favorite of the late Russian violinist Nathan Milstein). The brilliance and dare devil virtuosity of Rosand's version of the March from The Love for Three Oranges by Prokofieff (a Jascha Heifetz staple) was dazzling! As an encore Rosand offered Meditation by Alexander Glazunov, a beautiful, melancholy Russian romance played with honeyed tone and Imperial breadth of phrase -- pure violinistic cream!

Aaron Rosand is a musical treasure! Not since the late Russian violinist Misha Elman has an artist offered such a unique, strongly individual violinistic style. Rosand's tone is gorgeously sonorous and distinctive. His musicianship is awesome -- a great artist in a magnificent recital! Bravo!

Copyright © 18 November 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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